A business owner in Vineland, New Jersey, was left with a sock full of fake cash and no money in her register after a man claiming to be from Africa scammed her last week, according to police. The scam began earlier this month when a man identifying himself as "Derrick" entered the Martinez Meat Market on Southwest Boulevard. Police describe the suspect as dark skinned, approximately 38 years old and wearing a suit. Derrick claimed to be visiting from Africa and asked owner Socorro Torres if she was interested in selling her business.
Derrick told Torres that he received a large sum of money after his father died in Africa and produced a sock from his waistband to show the business owner.
Inside the sock was $10,000.
"Torres stated she agreed to sell the business at which time Derrick provided her with a phone number (646-593-4085) and informed her that he would be in touch," the police report states.
Ms Torres quickly began to receive phone calls from men with "African accents," police said, claiming to be brothers of Derrick and asking if he bought the business yet.
"She refused to speak with them about it because they had nothing to do with the purchase," the police report stated.
"Derrick then contacted her and advised her not to provide them with any information."
During the phone call, Derrick also advised Ms Torres not to contact the police because he could be arrested for the large sum on money, deported back to Africa and "executed" upon his return.
About a week ago, police said, a black man with an African accent and whiskers tattooed onto his face entered the business.
The man identified himself as Derrick's brother and questioned her about the purchase, although he advised her that the purchase has not been made yet.
Derrick came back to Martinez Meat Market on July 17, police said, while in possession of the sock that previously contained $10,000.
The sock was for a down payment on the business, Derrick told Ms Torres, and he would bring the rest of the money the next day.
"After handing Torres the sock, he requested all the money in the cash register since the business was now his," the police report stated. "Torres stated she handed the money from the cash register over to Derrick at which time Derrick left."
After he left, Ms Torres opened up the sock that purportedly contained the $10,000 down payment.
However, the sock no longer contained any money.
Instead, the sock "was filled with wet construction paper cut in the shape of money," according to reports.
There are no suspects at this time in the theft by deception, police said.
Police did not say how much money was stolen.